Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

South Africa in Dalai Lama U-turn: BBC News.

So at last a little common sense has entered the South African government which previously seemed to have been afraid of the Dalai Lama or more likely afraid of how the Chinese government would react.

BBC NEWS South Africa’s government has made a U-turn over its decision in March to deny the Dalai Lama a visa.
New International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Tibet’s spiritual leader could now visit whenever he wanted.
The government caused an international outcry when it said it would not allow him to attend a peace conference, linked to the 2010 Football World Cup.
Critics accused South Africa of caving in to Chinese pressure.

Zuma calls for time of renewal: MAIL & GUARDIAN.

Zuma is now President of South Africa.

His inaugural address (an excerpt):

“On this day, a decade and a half ago, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was formally elected as the first president of a democratic South Africa…

At that moment a new nation was born, a nation founded on the fundamental principles of human dignity and equal rights for all.

A nation founded on the promise that ‘never, never and never again’ would this land experience the oppression of one by another.

Today, a decade and a half later, we gather here to reaffirm the promise of that great day.

We gather here determined to renew that most solemn undertaking, to build a society in which all people are freed from the shackles of discrimination, exploitation, want and disease.

We gather here determined that the struggles and sacrifices of our people over many decades shall not be in vain.

Instead, they shall inspire us to complete the task for which so much blood was shed, and so much hardship endured. This is a moment of renewal.

When Madiba took the oath of office on the 10th of May 1994, it was one of the greatest historic moments of our country, Africa and the African diaspora.

Madiba healed our wounds and established the rainbow nation very firmly. He set us on the path of nation building and prosperity and made us a respected member of the world community of nations. He taught us that all South Africans have equal claim to this country, and that there can be no lasting peace unless all of us, black and white, learned to live together in harmony and peace.

He made reconciliation the central theme of his term of office. We will not deviate from that nation-building task. Thank you Madiba, for showing us the way.

I would also like to acknowledge the former second deputy president of the democratic republic, the Honourable FW de Klerk, who worked with Madiba in the resolution of the apartheid conflict, and participated in shaping a new South Africa.

Your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, in June 1999, former President Mbeki came to this very podium to take the oath of office, as the second president of the republic. He took the country forward as a true statesman…”

We patiently wait to see what follows next, the signs show at least a wish for continuity and a pledge to continue the spirit of the past.

Zuma’s mandate is a poisoned chalice: William Gumede.

April 27, 2009 Leave a comment

William Gumede in his comment is free article makes an attempt at an analysis following Jacon Zuma’s victory in the recent South African elections:

WILLIAM GUMEDE IN THE GUARDIAN: “The mandate, just short of a two-thirds majority of the vote in last week’s elections, given to South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, is a poisoned chalice. It is clear that the election of Jacob Zuma as ANC leader in 2007 has energised South Africa’s electorate. Voter turnout was more than 70% in this election…”

Read William Gumede’s article link below;

via William Gumede: Zuma’s mandate is a poisoned chalice | Comment is free | .

Zuma: SA must move forward: BBC NEWS.

April 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Unfortunately, I always get a little uncomfortable when African leaders talk about “unity” as historical experience shows it’s a fallacy; it really means I’m the boss; the big chief; I will do what I like, so forget about democracy. Zuma, Mr Umshini wami (bring me my machine gun) may not seem to understand the role of an opposition and the need for a healthy democracy.

BBC NEWS: “Jacob Zuma has said the African National Congress will form a government “for all” to bring a “new era of hope and progress” for South Africa.The ANC leader was speaking after his party won the country’s general election, but failed to obtain a two-thirds majority…”

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Zuma vows to unite South Africa: BBC NEWS.

April 25, 2009 Leave a comment

For better or worse Jacob Zuma is now the president of South Africa.  He has been denied the two-thirds majority which he needs to change the consitution; a change in local government  has already been expressed; in time we will soon learn his intentions; the results of the election are in the link to BBC NEWS below;

BBC NEWS: “Jacob Zuma, the man expected to become South Africa’s president after his ANC party’s electoral victory, has said he will work to unite the country.

“We have gone through a difficult period… it is now time to put it all behind us,” he said in Pretoria after official results were announced.

The ANC won 65.9% of the vote but failed to obtain its previous two-thirds majority.

A two-thirds majority in parliament is needed to change the constitution…”

For more see the link below;

via BBC NEWS | Africa | Zuma vows to unite South Africa.

How Cope lost it – Mail & Guardian Online: The smart news source

April 25, 2009 Leave a comment

A surprising result from the recent South African elections was the failure of COPE to meet up with its expectations; scoring roughly 7%+ was clearly a disappointment. The article by Rapule Tabane, see the link below explores the reasons why COPE which at first really scared the ANC leaders lost the initiative:

MAIL & “When Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa broke away from the ANC they claimed to speak for the 40% of ANC members who voted for Thabo Mbeki in Polokwane.

The move created a buzz, as it suggested the ANC’s hegemony might be shaken for the first time since 1994.

The potential was there. Cope’s first consultative meetings in Cape Town and the Eastern Cape were well attended and struck a chord with many. When it announced that about 50 ANC MPs would cross to it, the ANC went into panic mode.

Six months later Cope failed to poll even half the vaunted 40%. What happened?..”

For more see the link below;

via How Cope lost it – Mail & Guardian Online: The smart news source.

ANC wins ‘outright poll majority’: BBC NEWS.

April 25, 2009 Leave a comment

The ANC have done it yet again:

BBC NEWS: “South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has won an outright majority in general elections, the country’s election authority has said.

With 99% of votes from Wednesday’s poll counted, the ANC had just short of two-thirds of the approximately 17 million ballots cast, election officials said.

A two-thirds majority in parliament is needed to change the constitution…”

For more see the link below;

via BBC NEWS | Africa | ANC wins ‘outright poll majority’.